ODJ: knowledge by touch

December 31, 2015 

READ: John 20:24-29 

Put your hand into the wound in my side (v.27).

Thanks to journalist Swagat Thorat, India has a newspaper for its blind citizens. An estimated 24,000 visually impaired people read the biweekly braille publication. Thorat believes that the ability to read articles about current events is important. He named the newspaper Sparshdnyan, which means: knowledge by touch.

Thomas, a follower of Jesus, gained an understanding of Jesus’ resurrection by touching His wounds. Although the other disciples told Thomas that they had seen Christ after His crucifixion, Thomas told them he had to have more proof. He said he needed to examine the scarred palms of Jesus’ hands and make contact with the flesh that had been pierced by a spear (John 19:34-36).

Eight days later, Jesus appeared again. Although He hadn’t been present in the room when Thomas expressed his doubt, Jesus’ words mirrored Thomas’ requirements for belief. Jesus said, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side” (20:27). Thomas reached out to Jesus. Flesh met flesh and the disciple exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” (v.28).

The truth about Jesus’ resurrection hadn’t changed, despite Thomas’ skepticism. Yet something changed within Thomas when he reached out to touch Jesus. Getting closer to Christ allowed the disciple to understand and experience the truth about Him.

All of our efforts to reach out to Jesus have the ability to make spiritual truth come alive within us—every whispered prayer, every moment of rejoicing, every inner repetition of Scripture. The sort of thing that happened in a split second for Thomas may happen over time for us. Keep reaching for Jesus. He’s available and willing to respond.

—Ruth O’Reilly-Smith

365-day-plan: Revelation 22:1-21

Read John 1:1-3 to see the link between Jesus’ physical body and our ability to know Him. Read Matthew 14:36 to see what happened when certain people touched Jesus’ robe. 
Do you think skepticism thrives on distance from Christ? Why or why not? How does this idea intersect with your spiritual walk today?